Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality Fiona O’Loughlin TD has said there is a critical need for enhanced policy and legislative measures to ensure men and women receive equal pay for equal work.

Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments after a leading Irish recruitment firm, Morgan McKinley, today published a survey which shows that on average women earn 20% or €12,500 less than men in the same job. Further findings suggest women with up to 5 years’ experience earn 12% less, while women with 15 years plus earn as much as 28% less than their male counterparts.

Commenting on the research, Deputy O’Loughlin said, “Despite significant progress towards women’s economic independence in Ireland, women remain at a disadvantage economically.

“Gender inequality persists despite international research proving the business case for more women in corporate leadership positions. Female participation in the Irish labour market remains well below EU levels, and women in the workforce are still not treated on a par with men.

“The research also found that the earnings gap increases with the education level attained. Quality education boosts women’s economic empowerment yet this is not always reflected in their take home pay.

“Gender based pay inequality is sadly not exclusive to companies in the private sector, it is a just as prevalent in the public service. Both sectors must proactively address the issue by dealing with workplace discrimination and striving to adopt more family friendly work practices.

“Together, we must do more to raise awareness and advance equal economic independence to eliminate gender inequalities in pay. In 2016, it is unacceptable that pay can be defined by gender and we must not accept any deviation from the principal of equal pay for equal work.”